Four Cool Museum Art Exhibits You Can See Right Now in Phoenix

As the temperatures warm up, it’s good to know where to go for indoor fun. Even as we move closer to summer, the museums of the Phoenix metro continue to offer exciting new art to discover and enjoy.

Here are four exhibits currently on display that you should check out.

“Desert Rider”

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Avenue

The new exhibition “Desert Rider” at Phoenix Art Museum “explores the ways in which automotive culture in the Southwest has influenced the work of contemporary Latino and Indigenous artists who examine the intersection of motion and movement, migration, gender, sexuality, work and life. identity”, explains Gilbert Vicario, who organized the exhibition. “It is important to recognize all of the artists represented who are members of communities that have been forced to the margins of our geographic space, experiences that parallel the history of the lowrider itself. I hope guests see the impact that the local culture has had on the artists working in the Southwest and enjoy this piece of history from the land they were born in. Attendees will see artwork such as the Rainbow Painted Tires and the Pinata in lowrider form by Justin Favela; photography by Liz Cohen; and politically charged skateboard decks by Douglas Miles. The exhibit opened April 24 and runs through

While there, you can also check out “Figural Variations”, a collection of interpretations of the human form; “Farewell Photography: The Hitachi Collection of Postwar Japanese Photographs, 1961-1989,” which ends Sunday, June 26; and “Generation Paper: Fast Fashion of the 1960s”.

Click to enlarge

Lalo Cota, The CarreraMixed media, 79 x 52 inches.

Lalo Cota/Mesa Arts Center


Mesa Museum of Contemporary Art
1 Main Street East, Mesa

The vibrant work of local artist Lalo Cota can be found in the form of murals all over the Phoenix metro. But the new exhibition “LALOLAND” in Mesa Museum of Contemporary Art brings together 20 years of Cota’s work for a retrospective exhibition full of color and energy. The show kicked off on April 15 and will run until August 7.

While you’re there, you can also see MCAM’s other summer exhibitions, all of which end on Sunday, August 7: “Nothing In Stasis,” a collection of Monica Aissa Martinez’s depictions of the complex structures and intricate diversities of living organisms ; “Choice Cuts,” in which Tucson-based artist Laura Tanner explores social constructions of gender and class; “Sanctuary”, an in situ installation by Texan artist Eliza Au on sacred spaces; and “Somos Southwest,” an exhibit featuring works inspired by the Chicano art movement.

An image of the new Heard Museum exhibition

An image from the Heard Museum’s new exhibition “Between the Lines: Art from the No Horse Ledger Book”.

Heard Museum

“Between the Lines: The Art of the Horseless Book”

Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue

As indigenous peoples were displaced from their native lands, traditional art forms such as rock painting and animal skins evolved. Accounting or general ledger books have become an important medium for these artists, and one of them is the subject of the most recent exhibition at the Heard Museum. “Between the Lines” is a collection of 28 drawings from a Cheyenne/Arapaho ledger created between the late 1870s and 1882. Named after the man who is said to have been the first artist to draw in the book, the book captures the work of up to six Indigenous artists who depict images of warfare, dances and horseback riding. The exhibition opened on May 6 and runs until April 23, 2023.

Also in the Heard Museum right now are “Southwest Silverwork, 1850-1940” and “Remembering the Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art.”

   Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art" class="uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle"> Click to enlarge See Brad Kahlhamer's

Catch Brad Kahlhamer’s “Swap Meet” show in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

“Brad Kahlhamer: exchange meeting”

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 East Second Street, Scottsdale

Speaking of the ledger, this art form is one of Tucson-born artist Brad Kahlhamer’s inspirations. The work of his exhibition “Swap Meet” at SMoCA reflects his two dominant influences: indigenous iconography and the downtown art scene of 1980s and 1990s New York. The two come together in the form of paintings, sculptures, and found objects, anchored by a trailer that Kahlhamer, who currently lives in the Southeast Valley, purchased at a Mesa swap meet. The show started on February 26 and continues until October 9.

Other exhibits at SMoCA currently include “Beverly McIver: Full Circle,” which summarizes 25 years of the artist’s paintings; and “Teresa Baker: Capturing Space,” which features large-scale mixed-media murals by Los Angeles-based Mandan/Hidatsa artist.

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